Be still and know that I Am God. Those words reverberated through the sound system of the coliseum as ten thousand women sat on the edge of their seats soaking up every word. For me, it was going in one ear and out the other and my brain was mush floating somewhere in between. I came to the women’s conference that year wanting to grow closer to God but I left feeling like I had missed out on a big secret everyone else was in on. For three years, I continued to read that verse over and over, somehow hoping a light bulb would go off. When it finally did, it was in the most unlikely way imaginable.
Three Years Later
“You need to go the emergency room.” the receptionist said. “Is everything okay?” I asked. “Yes ma’am. I’m sure everything will be fine. Just go to the emergency room immediately.” I sat there frozen to my office chair. The high walls of my dingy cubicle suddenly closing in on me before I realized the numbness was crawling up my right arm. My friends rushed me out the glass front doors of our downtown office building. I squinted my eyes from the sunlight as it gleamed off the concrete. I scrambled into the front passenger seat of my friend’s car and we zoomed away. As we reached the pinnacle of the bridge it revealed our destination, the hospital. It’s shiny blue tinted windows reflecting the mountainous landscape of the surrounding valley. “How are you feeling now?” my friend said. I wanted to respond, to let her know that I was doing okay, but something was wrong. I knew the words to say but they wouldn’t come out. How do you say ‘okay’, I asked myself as I struggled to arch my lips in an “O” shape?
We pulled into the emergency bay and I am met by yet another friendly face. They quickly transfer me to a wheelchair where I am arm-banded, before whisking me down the maze of halls lined with small square rooms each one brightly lit with its own fluorescent overhead lights. The Medcom beeps, “Stoke Alert!” rings out over the intercom. My heart thuds as we round the corner and into a room. My eyes lock onto the critical care team clad in their blue uniforms. They are all business but with a smile. Within five minutes they have stripped me down, changed my clothes, ran an IV in my arm & completed EKG’s, along with some other tests that I don’t even remember the name of.
I watch them work frantically, rushing around the room as I lay there in a complete daze. One of them pauses and stares at me for brief second. What are they seeing? What do they know? What are they not telling me? A hundred question haunt me while images of my six-month-old son flashed rapidly through my mind like an old reel from a picture show. What if I die? I think to myself. He will grow up never remembering what I look like or sound like. He won’t remember the warmth and scent of his mother as he nestles into my neck for naptime or the silly songs I sing to him throughout the day. I realize in that moment that no matter what I have to fight! But how? I can’t even talk. “Okay Mrs. Wright” one of the doctors say “We are taking you down for a CT & stroke scan.” I hear the click as they unlock the bed and it begins to move.
Just down the hall we enter a large white room surrounded by windows on one side. In the center of the room lays a large thick hoop also known as a drum. A small bed is positioned directly in the middle of it. The technicians behind the window come out to greet me. “We’re going to transfer you over to a new bed so we can get a look at your brain, okay Mrs. Wright.” One of them says sweetly. I nod realizing they think what they just said is completely normal. I gasp as the hot contrast they just put in my IV burns through my veins. “You’re doing great.” One of the techs say as the loud whir of the drum starts up. “Try to stay as still as possible for me, okay?” I lay there helplessly watching the overhead lights shift in and out of sight as I disappear into the large machine that is whirring loudly in my ears. All I can do is silently cry out to God, please help me Lord! I need you now more than ever. Suddenly, the most amazing thing happens. Inside the loud drum of the machine, over the frantic conversations from the radiology tech’s around me, and through the panic that is exploding inside of me, I feel a peace break though that I have never felt before. It comes over me in a rush and in an instant, the words, “I. Am. Here.” ring louder than anything else. My God, showed up. He showed up in this fleeting moment when He knew I needed Him because I had no choice but to be still and know that He is my God.
Before I know it, the test is over and I am slowly being pulled out of the machine. One of the nurses looks down and sees my tears streaming down my cheeks. She quickly grabs my hand, “You are so brave Mrs. Wright. You did a great job.” She says. What she doesn’t know is these tears, they aren’t tears of pain or fear. These tears, are tears of joy!
I am very thankful to say that after a multitude of tests the doctors confirmed I had not had a stroke but a complex migraine, whose symptoms actually mimic that of a stroke. I find myself very blessed and thankful and know that all the glory goes to my God!